Boys and girls in the Bolton School Nursery and at Beech House, happily play and learn together. At this early stage in their development, it is important for the children to develop positive attitudes and relationships with their peers regardless of gender. Our highly qualified and experienced teachers help children to explore who they are and make connections to people around them as well as gaining self-confidence and social support which in turn feeds into their early academic development.
Research shows however that by the age of around 7, approximately equivalent to the end of Infant School, differences between boys' and girls' cognitive development is more evident. Generally, girls demonstrate greater skills in speech and communication and areas of fine motor development and boys develop greater socio-emotional and self-confidence skills, alongside more advanced gross motor skills. Around the country, girls' achievements in end of KS2 SATs continue to surpass those of boys, by separating pupils as they move into Junior School we are better able to challenge our pupils to achieve their very best, regardless of their gender.
Separating boys and girls at the end of the Infant School allows us to support all of our pupils in a more targeted and appropriate manner. In our single sex junior schools our pupils have the freedom to grow and develop as individuals, less constrained by gender stereotypes. Timetables, resources and individual lessons can be tailored to suit the needs, learning styles, interests and hobbies of the boys and girls, and ultimately to attain at a higher level.
We do of course recognise that it is important that boys and girls learn to work together. The opportunities for collaboration across the Primary Division Schools allows our pupils to join forces, interact and work together towards a common goal.
Ultimately, there is no such thing as a typical 'girls' or boys' school pupil and our skilled teachers very much recognise that and are ready and able to help your child develop academically, socially and emotionally into the very best person they can be.
Sue Faulkner, BA (Hons), MAEd
Head of Primary Division